The best drum kits in the world today

16th Jun 2010 | 10:18

The best drum kits in the world today
The best drum kits in the world today
From budget drums to custom pro sets

This is a constantly updated gallery of the best drum kits on the planet - from budget drums to custom pro sets. Scroll through the gallery for an overview of some of the highest-rated drum kits in the MusicRadar archive.

Our picks are collated from Rhythm Magazine’s gruelling review process, buyers’ guides and MusicRadar’s own best-of-the-best drum round-ups.

The best drum kits in the world today
DW SSC drum kit
£8,564

MusicRadar’s verdict:

In a marketplace which is populated by an ever-growing number of custom drum builders, DW drums still stand out. The company's reputation has been built on its quality of workmanship, level of innovation and willingness to react to drummers' needs. This kit scores full marks on all three of these criteria. A fourth - its sound - also bags maximum points.

FULL REVIEW: DW SSC drum kit review

The best drum kits in the world today
Tama Starclassic Bubinga kit
£2,799

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Tama's reputation suggests that it would never rush into a decision and a great deal of preparation has clearly taken place before the transferral of the production of one of its flagship lines to China. It has all the components of a fully-fledged pro kit - solid build, quality components, careful detailing and amazing sounds - just like the more expensive kit it replaced."

FULL REVIEW: Tama Starclassic Bubinga drum kit review

The best drum kits in the world today
Yamaha Rock Tour kit
£980

MusicRadar’s verdict:

As the name implies, these drums feel strong enough to cope with the rigours of being thrashed each night on tour. Rock on…

FULL REVIEW: Yamaha Rock Tour Kit review

The best drum kits in the world today
Guru Drumworks kit
£2,848

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Guru offers a great range of exotic timbers from sustainable sources. Prices are realistic and a one-off boutique kit is an increasingly attractive alternative.

FULL REVIEW: Guru Drumworks Kit review

The best drum kits in the world today
Hayman Showman Big Sound drum kit
£999

MusicRadar’s verdict

The original Hayman was a pro set, played by many of the big stars of the day. This new version is a 'semi-pro' compromise. But with its distinctive lugs, white interiors, and loud, bright sound, the kit honours the spirit of Hayman and we'd recommend anyone trading up to their first serious gigging kit to check it out.

FULL REVIEW: Hayman Showman Big Sound drum kit review

The best drum kits in the world today
Sonor Force 2007 Rock drum kit
£905

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Sonor's reputation for providing excellent quality instruments extends to the lower end of its range as well as the custom kits. The manufacturing quality of the Force 2007 is excellent, with fetching finishes and well-designed and well screwed-together drums once again redefining 'mid-range'.

FULL REVIEW: Sonor Force 2007 Rock drum kit review

The best drum kits in the world today
Gretsch Renown Maple drum kit
£1,179

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Gretsch has come up with a kit that combines classic looks with the sort of sound quality and build standard that will both appeal to and cope with the energy levels of younger drummers. For the price-point it's well equipped and has the added lustre of the brand's heritage. An equivalent Gretsch USA Custom kit is four times as expensive and, while the Renown Maple is not going to match it for sheer finesse, it's nonetheless a pretty versatile set of drums.

FULL REVIEW: Gretsch Renown Maple Drum Kit review

The best drum kits in the world today
Spaun Custom drum kit
£1,799

MusicRadar’s verdict:

For a custom drum-maker, moving into more affordable pastures is a tricky manoeuvre to pull off without diminishing the brand's core qualities and reputation. The TL kit succeeds because it feels and sounds every inch a Spaun set of drums - the design, attention to detail and performance is unmistakable.

FULL REVIEW: Spaun TL Series Drum Kit

The best drum kits in the world today
Premier Genista Maple and Genista Birch drum kits
£1,336

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Bringing back the highly-regarded Genista with its distinctive lug is a positive move. The Taiwanese build-quality and finish seem excellent along with the updated choice of American maple or American birch, with or without ISO mounts.

FULL REVIEW: Premier Genista Maple And Genista Birch drum kits review

The best drum kits in the world today
RCI Starlite acrylic drum kit
£2,779

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Handmade in America, RCI have the most solid and resonant acrylic shells we've seen. Additionally, the range of colours and patterns is massive, while the prices - considering American custom drums are never cheap - are realistic. The attack is sharp, the tone exceptionally pure. It's a slightly different sound from wood and metal, but not as much as you might imagine.

FULL REVIEW: RCI Starlite drum kit

The best drum kits in the world today
Guru Drumworks Walnut kit with Oak snares
£3,900

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Genuinely personal, bespoke drums made with love to truly brilliant standards. What Guru offers is real individual custom-drum building - with a price to match.

FULL REVIEW: Guru Drumworks Walnut kit with Oak snares review

The best drum kits in the world today
Dixon Artisan Custom Traditional Maple Series kit
£1,650

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Gorgeous, and it's well designed and built. The drums look and sound fabulous.

FULL REVIEW: Dixon Artisan Custom Traditional Maple Series kit review

The best drum kits in the world today
DW Performance Series drum kit
£1,780

MusicRadar’s verdict:

DW seems to have got the Performance Series spot on. The kit is located firmly in pro territory; the standard of the shells and components is unquestionably high and the usual DW details abound. While being distinctive enough to stand alone from other DW products they are clearly DW drums. Without testing the drums alongside a custom DW kit it's hard to say how they differ tonally, but the sheer quality of the sound they produce is on the money.

FULL REVIEW: DW Performance Series drum kit review

The best drum kits in the world today
Mapex Black Panther Velvetone kit
£2,210

MusicRadar’s verdict:

With three other BP kits to choose from, which one will be the most popular remains to be seen, but the Velvetone will be hard to beat. A sure-fire hit.

FULL REVIEW: Mapex Black Panther Velvetone kit review

The best drum kits in the world today
Gretsch Renown '57
£1,606

MusicRadar’s verdict:

A tasetful and unique kit which lives up to the Gretsch name. It's good value for money at this level, too.

FULL REVIEW: Gretsch Renown '57 review

The best drum kits in the world today
Tama Silverstar drum kit
£800

MusicRadar’s verdict:

With its easy-to-control, all-birch tone, Tama's Silverstar is, like Premier's new Birch Genista, a professional quality kit at an intermediate price.

FULL REVIEW: Tama Silverstar drum kit review

The best drum kits in the world today
Yamaha Club Custom drum kit
£2,606

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Yamaha delivers an original, great-sounding pro series at an attractive price - about five per cent less than the Absolute Birch and Maple.

FULL REVIEW: Yamaha Club Custom drum kit review

The best drum kits in the world today
Natal Maple and Bubinga drum kits
£1,388

MusicRadar’s verdict:

An excellent, well-designed debut kit from Natal at good price.

FULL REVIEW: Natal Maple and Bubinga drum kits review

The best drum kits in the world today
Mapex Meridian Retro Fusion drum kit
£749

MusicRadar’s verdict:

This kit will appeal to jazz or funk drummers, or indeed any drummer who needs to squeeze into a small area without compromising the sound of their drums.

FULL REVIEW: Mapex Meridian Retro Fusion drum kit review

The best drum kits in the world today
Jalapeno V-L Series drum kit
£3,000

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Pricewise it's up there with some of the most prestigious brands, but it competes well in quality and sound terms. Considering the hours spent creating the kit, it's a steal.

FULL REVIEW: Jalapeno V-L Series drum kit review

The best drum kits in the world today
Gretsch USA Standard drum kit
£2,489

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Gretsch drums are renowned for their unique sound and charismatic design, and the USA Standard range makes them more accessible wirhout demystifying the brand.

FULL REVIEW: Gretsch USA Standard drum kit review

The best drum kits in the world today
Pearl Masters Premium Legend drum kit
£3,225

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Pearl's expertise is all over this solidly-constructed, great looking and exquisite-sounding kit.

FULL REVIEW: Pearl Masters Premium Legend drum kit review

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